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Happy 50th Debbie

Last night I took a short stroll down memory lane, and what pleasant memories they were. Brian and I were invited to a celebration marking the 50th birthday of Debbie, a friend once removed you might say. Before I go on, a brief history, a history that my dear friends from the Blue Gums group are sure to remember.

Back in the mid seventies I first met some of the best friends anyone could wish for, I attended Modbury High School and in 1973 I believe Banksia Park High School took in its first students, however as the buildings were not quite ready for the start of the school year the teachers and students took up temporary residence at Modbury. This is when I first met Mandy, Anita and Christine. Over the years our group grew to include a couple of Julies, Tracy, Louise, Fiona, Johanna, Margaret, and others. On the male side there was Tom, Philip, Bryan, Chris, and of course me. There were others that have come and gone but essentially this was the core group, I hope I have not forgotten anyone.

In the innocence of our mid teens we were inseparable, and most nights before we started to drive we were to be found walking the streets of the north-eastern suburbs, not getting up to any mischief, just being young. Often we would end up at one or other of the girl’s homes and we would sit and chat, listen to music, and of course it was the seventies so we all smoked, not that our parents knew we smoked…..much!

Into this mix came the Thompson family, Julie and her four brothers and sisters, and her very, very patient parents. It was to Julie’s bedroom that we congregated most nights  with the bedroom window open and smoke billowing outside from our cigarettes, who did we think we were trying to kid, occasionally Julie’s younger siblings would open the bedroom door only to be met by a haze of cigarette smoke.

Fast forward forty something years and last night I was back in the Thompson home celebrating the 50th birthday of Julie’s younger sister Debbie, what a lovely night. Mrs Thompson and her second son Paul are sadly no longer with use, but Mr Thompson is as sprightly as ever. I remember that we all showed Mr and Mrs Thompson the utmost respect, and we were in awe of Mr Thompson as he could sometimes come over as a bit gruff.

In those days Mr Thompson worked at a local petrol station, this was in the days when they put the petrol in for you, checked your oil, and cleaned your windscreen. I remember feeling quite chuffed because on those occasions when I frequented that particular petrol station Mr Thompson had to serve me, it always brought a wry smile to my face.

It is a shame that more of us could not have been at the party last night. I was touched by the greeting I received not only from Mr Thompson, but also Debbie, Darren and Andrew, it was a lovely night. Happy 50th Debbie, you are no longer a friend once removed, you are my friend.


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